This weekend’s Dark Phoenix represents the second time the X-Men films have attempted to adapt the comics’ most iconic arc to the big screen. The first time around was in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, and in that film it was not Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner playing the doomed Jean Grey but actress Famke Janssen, who originated the role onscreen in 2000’s X-Men.
Famke Janssen hasn’t appeared as Jean Grey since a cameo in 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, but that doesn’t mean that she has sworn off playing the character. On the contrary, the actress seems open to playing Jean Grey again, as she explained:
It may not be especially likely, but if The Powers That Be want to bring Famke Janssen’s Jean Grey back in some capacity, the actress seems as though she would be open to the possibility, as she told Variety at the Dark Phoenix premiere. She hasn’t entirely closed the door on the character that she played in five films in this franchise over the course of more than a decade.
Although Famke Janssen had her issues with X-Men: The Last Stand, and how she didn’t get to return to the franchise in the same way that Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan did, the two things that have been clear are her appreciation for her time as a part of the X-Men films and her love of the Jean Grey character.
That love is evident in her presence at the Dark Phoenix premiere and a statement she made about being happy to see this story get a whole film dedicated to it, versus the divided attention of X-Men: The Last Stand. I’m sure it would depend on the manner of her return, but that love seems to have kept Famke Janssen from outright saying that she’s done with Jean Grey.
Despite her willingness to at least consider playing Jean Grey again, it would be extremely surprising if someone were to give Famke Janssen that call. Even Sophie Turner doesn’t seem long for the role. That’s because Dark Phoenix is expected to be the swan song for this current iteration and continuity of the X-Men onscreen, now that Disney has bought 21st Century Fox, and the belief is that the mutants will be rebooted down the line in the MCU.
At that point, the assumption is that Marvel would recast and to give the characters an entirely fresh start. Nevertheless, with the multi-verses of comic book storytelling, you can never truly say never, and Famke Janssen’s Jean Grey could pop up when we least expect her. In lieu of that wild scenario, maybe the actress could voice the character in an animated series.
Whether she ultimately plays Jean Grey again or not, Famke Janssen will forever be the first to play the iconic mutant on the big screen in a film that helped usher in our modern comic book movie age.
Famke Janssen currently stars in Netflix’s acclaimed new miniseries from Ava DuVernay about the Central Park Five titled When They See Us. Keep an eye on CinemaBlend for all the latest mutant news and check out our 2019 Release Schedule to know what's headed your way this year.
Nick grew up in Maryland has degrees in Film Studies and Communications. His life goal is to walk the earth, meet people and get into adventures. He’s also still looking for The Adventures of Pete and Pete season 3 on DVD if anyone has a lead.
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